DP curriculum

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The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum sets out the requirements for studying the DP. 

DP subjects

The curriculum is made up of the DP core and six subject groups. Made up of the three required components, the DP core aims to broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills. 

Learn more about each of the subject groups below. On each subject page, you’ll find the relevant DP subject brief.


* Interdisciplinary subjects are marked with an asterisk.

Interdisciplinary subjects enable students to meet the diploma requirements for two groups, whilst studying one subject. Students then select another subject to complete the requirement of six. 

Choosing subjects in the DP

The IB provides course selection guidance to help you when choosing subjects. If you would like some examples of subject combinations, please take a look at these examples of diploma subject choices.

Students choose subjects from the following subject groups: studies in language and literature; language acquisition; individuals and societies; sciences; mathematics; and the arts.

Students may opt to study an additional sciences, individuals and societies, or languages subject, instead of a subject in the arts.

Students will take some subjects at higher level (HL) and some at standard level (SL). HL and SL subjects differ in scope but are measured according to the same grade descriptors, with students expected to demonstrate a greater body of knowledge, understanding and skills at higher level.

Each student takes a minimum of three or a maximum of four subjects at higher level, and the remaining at standard level.

Standard level subjects take up 150 teaching hours. Higher level comprises 240 teaching hours.

Read more about other DP subjects offered by the IB – including school-based syllabus subjects, pilot subjects and our subject archive. You also can see a full list of DP subjects with their subject codes, transcript names, SL/HL availability and subject groups.

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